We will be getting the flu vaccine this year as a family. I wanted to share our why.
This is a post that is harder to write. Mainly because vaccines are such a hot button topic and so many people have strong opinions about it. It’s a bit like birth choices, breastfeeding, homeschool, parental discipline, sleep, everyone thinks they know best and it can, ahem, get a bit shouty on social media when people want to convince others why or why not.
I personally feel quite strongly about vaccines, as an ex pediatric nurse, but I tend not to talk about our personal choices much because frankly, I am usually mostly too tired to defend them.
But I thought I would share our why for this year’s choice. I also need to emphasise that it is OUR choice. For me and mine. If you choose not to get the vaccine, then that is yours. What we do, does not mean you have to.
The flu vaccine is contraversial at best, with mamy people feeling that it’s not worth getting, claims that it doesn’t work, that it makes you ill, etc.
For us, the weighing up the efficacy and effectivness of the flu vaccine, and what it can and can’t do, is something we do every year and usually I get the shot, and the husband has it done at work as part of his health care package. The teen and boy have been offered it when at school and we have accepted it.
This year, we are all getting it, again.
We have had real flu. Proper, been swabbed and prescribed anti virals, made us super sick, took a long time to recover from the after affects and other illnesses flu triggered, flu. A couple of years ago, the teen, husband and I all were incredibly ill, and after visits to the GP, chest xrays, various long hual medication stints, we all reovered. I dealt with bronchitis, the husband had a dleighted game of tag with pnuemonia, the teen (who was 9 at the time) had a chest infection then a cough for weeks and much time off school. The only person who didn’t get flu was the boy, who had had the vaccine at school. The rest of us hadn’t.
That sealed the deal for us, and now we try to avoid it.
Last year, the husband was incredibly ill with myocardidits, which was triggered by what we think was a viral infection. When he was recovering, he managed to pick up a flu virus, and ended up being ill again (let’s just say that A&E is a place I prefer to avoid, now, having spent a lot of time there last year) and the teenager was also diagnised with asthma earlier this year, having been incredibly ill in October of last year, and again in Febuary this year.
Our GP has made it rather pointedly clear that both of them need to be protected from flu, and with Covid19 ciruclatting, the concern that the combination of flu and Covid could make many people very ill, plays on our minds, so lowering the chances of flu getting us, seems like a sensible idea. So they will be getting the vaccine, and so will the boy and I.
Whilst my overriding concern is to protect my family, I am always also aware that my getting a flu vaccine means that I will have some level of protection to offer people around me that are not my family that flu could make very ill. To me, that is important too, and if our family can do our best to protect us, but also others, that is not a bad thing.
So, this week, the husband and I, both who are not particularly fond of needles (yup, a nurse who doesn’t like needles, I know) will bare arms and get stabbed and the teenager will be getting hers shortly. The boy has to wait, for his a bit longer, but he will get a nasal flu vaccine, too. We feel it’s right, we are doing our bit to protect us, and others. Flu, and what it can do to make us ill, is one less thing I want to worry about this winter.